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tv   Politics and Public Policy Today  CSPAN  March 21, 2016 11:00am-1:01pm EDT

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in july of 2015 its framework for managing fraud risk in federal programs. so, that's a comprehensive leading practice compilation from the private and public sectors that would provide the agency with quite a solid roadmap to perform that risk assessment. so, everything should flow from that assessment in terms of the types of actions, policy changes, control improvements and so forth. >> and are you working with cms? what is their reaction on this? are they objecting to that? >> no. i think i should give cms credit that they accepted all eight recommendations, including this one. but as they say, the proof is in the pudding. they need to execute, do so successfully, and then achieve results and sustain them over the long term. this is not a one-and-done proposition by any means. >> sure. but so, just to be clear, you've made the recommendations, they've accepted all eight
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recommendations, and they're in the process of doing them. >> that's correct. we had informal discussions as well as the formal letter responding to our recommendations. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank our two witnesses. lord knows where we would be if we didn't have gao and inspector generals. the alarming malfeasance and incompetence of the rollout of this plan is just stunning. and here we are, you know, we can't just simply brush it off and say, well, this was a bad start, but everything's going great now. the cost to the taxpayer probably we'll never know. but thank goodness that we have your organizations providing us information and spurring on a
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seemingly bureaucratic nightmare that exists within the federal government in terms of handling these kinds of programs. anybody in the private sector that had done this would have been bankrupt. investors would have lost all their money. it's just stunning to continue to observe what it takes to get these agencies to -- i think they're well intended. it's just overwhelmed in terms of the complexity of getting this done. i go to the floor of the senate every week and talk about waste of the week. and mr. bagdoyan -- did i pronounce that right, bagdoyan? i've referenced your name, not as a part of the problem, but as part of the solution. and the information that you've provided here for me continues to stun people when they hear about some of the
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incompetencies. i was particularly interested because i think it speaks to a bigger problem, was your, what was called the secret shopper, where you deliberately made applications as a test. you made applications for compliance with the affordable care act and received in subsidies. and 11 of the 12 -- i think my numbers are right -- everything you submitted was fraudulent, but 11 of the 12 were accepted. and even after it was -- even after it was revealed that it was accepted, follow-up phone calls pretending to be that person who is given notice that they were not eligible were
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accepted. that percentage is pretty high. and if you multiply that out, it just really makes you wonder if just the whole thing wasn't gamed, or at least so intent on providing numbers to make it look successful that we really weren't getting the information -- the verification that we needed. and then there was the question with cms at one point releasing a statement -- well, we're not in the verification business. i think, basically, on what you've just said, that they are now taking a different stand on that. but i wonder if you could respond to where are we now in terms of verification capacities so that we don't have this fraudulent and wasteful situation moving on? i'm happy to have either one of
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you or both of you address that. but this social security -- it just seems easy that, you know, an evaluation of social security numbers to determine their validity would make it fairly easy to make a determination as to whether they qualified or whether they didn't qualify. but then where is cms in terms of putting that process in place, and what is the success to date of that process? >> sure, if i may, ms. bliss, take first crack of that, on that. first, i appreciate the plug on the floor, senator. >> sure. keep sending the stuff, i'll keep going to the floor. >> so, in terms of where cms is with the controls, what we call the control environment, which is a series of controls designed to verify information and identify potential indicators of fraud and so forth. as our undercover work indicated, both for 2014 and
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2015 where we were equally successful, there is a semblance of controls in place -- >> a semblance? >> a semblance of controls in place, some basic things in place, like identity-proofing, the document reconciliation process to clear inconsistencies, for example. but in each case, we were able to work around those reasonably easily and obtain coverage, both for 2014 and 2015. so, the vulnerabilities are still in place. now, with the recommendations we made in this report, actually in late february, we made eight recommendations, as i explained to senator stabenow. the big one is to perform a comprehensive risk assessment. now, that's going to take time, it's going to take time for cms to absorb the results and then craft, hopefully, appropriate solutions for the future.
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so, this is a long-term proposition. it's not going to be an easy fix. >> well, i think this speaks to the point that we got a bad start and everything's going great right now. everything's not going great right now. there are major -- as you said, this is going to take a long-term effort to try to put these verification procedures in place and to be able to say that we are successfully avoiding fraud and waste at an inefficiency and taxpayer cost level that is just absolutely astounding. so, due respect to my colleagues, to tout this as something that has happened in the past but is corrected now and we're sailing into the bright future, i think we've got a lot of work to do. thanks, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and i want to again say that we said the initial rollout was
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botch botched and appreciated the inspector general making it clear that a couple months in there was serious progress. so, you all reported that after the first open enrollment you said the agency demonstrated a strong sense of urgency to take action, accepted new work processes, and they "improved the healthcare.gov website substantially within two months." i think it'd be helpful, ms. bliss, if you could tell us two things -- what were the operational and strategic changes that were made after that first open, you know, enrollment, and do you feel they're better equipped to deal with the challenge now? >> thank you, ranking member wyden, for that question. as we discussed in the case study, some of the key strategic and operational changes that were made as part of the correction were to, one, establish more clear leadership
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and designate roles and responsibilities. and this time, they did it in a way that brought together staff and contractors across all of the important business lines that were affected and needed to be involved in the correction. that included the policy people, the technical, the communications and the contractors all coming together. with the influx of experts from across government and the private sector, there was the potential that it could have become more chaotic, but in fact, we saw that the reverse was true. it was well organized, folks were working together in a badgeless culture as a team, there was better communication, there was better measurement and monitoring of problems and progress in order to apply solutions more quickly and effectively. >> so, in effect, after the first few months, which everybody has acknowledged were not ideal, your characterization
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was essentially well organized? >> it was much better organized. and they continue to make progress. >> how would you word it? okay, good. mr. bagdoyan, first, i'm probably the biggest users of gao products here in the congress. i so admire the professionalism of the agency. and i think you heard me say i don't take a back seat to anybody when it comes to cracking down on actual, real-world fraud. and my question to you is, isn't it correct that when you testified before the committee last year, you stated that the secret shopper investigation failed to uncover a single real-world example of fraud? >> yes, that's what i said, senator wyden, and i would also couch that very carefully for you and the committee. the intent of that investigation was not to uncover fraud but to
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flag control vulnerabilities as well as identify indicators of potential fraud, which i think we did quite successfully. so, i just want to make clear, my charge is not to find fraud. fraud is determined through a separate criminal proceeding in court to definitively determine that. so, my job, again, is to look for vulnerabilities in controls as well as identify indicators of potential fraud or improper payments. >> so, let's go then from last year when there was not one single, real-world example of fraud to where we are now. is it correct to say that the entire investigation failed to identify any actual fraud? >> well, again, i would refer you to my answer. that was not our intent. so, if i'm not looking for fraud, i'm not going to find it.
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what i am looking for is vulnerabilities in controls and indicators of potential fraud, such as the inconsistencies with the social security numbers, as well as in the case of the irs, 1.3 million people having potential i.d. theft issues, which is a significant red flag. >> and i think that as is always the case, you all are right to talk about various issues that ought to be part of the debate. that's not what's going on here. what people are saying is this is fraud. fraud, fraud, fraud. and i appreciate your taking us through this in, i think, better balanced view. ms. bliss, hhs, you all do audits. oig does audits. have you uncovered in connection with this any confirmed cases of
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fraud? >> no, we have not had any cases that have resulted in criminal convictions or civil settlements to date. we do have a few investigations that are ongoing, and i can't predict what those outcomes will be. >> and you know, look, i don't know how many times i've said in this committee that when there are big, important issues -- and certainly, the affordable care act is right at the top of it -- we need to work in a bipartisan fashion, and there isn't a program anywhere in government that you can't find opportunities to work together and be bipartisan. i ticked off a number of them -- the chairman and i working together on what i think is the future of the medicare program, chronic care, senator grassley and i finishing what i think is a blockbuster study looking at hepatitis-c, and it raises the question of when we have cures, will people be able to afford
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them? what i think is important is that to do bipartisan work, we've got to move away from, first the past, because everybody has acknowledged that the first few months were botched. i don't know how many times you can say it, but you all -- and i read your comment -- after the first few months, you said they had made substantial improvements. i think i can come back to it, and perhaps read it, you know, one more time. "center for medicare services recovered the health care government website for high consumer use within two months." now, that's the new news. that's just a few weeks old. that's the new news. and i want people to hear that and i want people to hear that there were no actual, real-world cases of fraud uncovered.
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now, one final question, if i might, for you, ms. bliss. do you disagree with the statement that i made with respect to the accomplishments of the affordable care act? that is not your formal role as inspector general, but does anything strike you as being inaccurate there with respect to the uninsured rate or anything of that nature? >> as an independent oversight agency, we don't take positions on whether particular programs should exist, but we look to make sure they're operating correctly, yes. >> the question was about the fac facts. and what i think, again, is this
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is a hard fact that's not in dispute, that the uninsured rate is now at or near the lowest level recorded across five decades of data with about 20 million previously uninsured americans gaining coverage since the act's provisions went into effect. so, i'll keep the record open so that if you or your agency has any information suggesting that's wrong, i'd sure like to know about it, okay? >> thank you. i don't have any information suggesting that that's wrong. >> wonderful. mr. chairman, thank you. >> senator scott? >> ms. bliss, do you have any information suggesting that those numbers are right? >> i cannot validate those numbers. i don't have any reason to believe they're not. >> but you have no indication either way, actually. >> i have no basis for knowing. >> so, if i tell you the number's 30 million, you have no reason to believe that it's not 30 million. >> i don't have a basis for validating that number. our case study did note --
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>> that's great. mr. bagdoyan, our ranking member asked you several questions about fraud, and i certainly understand and appreciate why so many americans look at this process and become disenchanted. your objective was never to figure out how much fraud was in the system, your objective, it appeared to me, to be to show us how fraud would be -- could happen. is that accurate? >> yeah, essentially, senator, you're correct. the big picture we're looking at is any vulnerabilities in the controls that are in place and also for any indicators of potential fraud that pop up. for example, our ability to circumvent the controls we encountered during our undercover work. we did that for 2014, and we repeated that experience in 2015, which case we were successful 17 out of 18 attempts. now, i would have to caution
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that, of course, further to the point that senator coates made earlier, that is not a projectable number. >> yes. >> so, we have to be very careful that that doesn't represent the actual universe. that is just a data set that we used to continue our work in this area. >> yes. thank you very much. no one's going to mistake me for a fan of obamacare or the aca, without any question, for a number of reasons. i'm not a fan of the website nor the actual policy itself, the legislation. i think of the independent payment advisory board, which some have referred to as death panel, the ability to ration care into the future, this is one of the classic examples of why so few americans have the same appreciation that others have talked about of the aca. think about the fact that we're talking about taxing americans, whether it's their income or their profits, an additional 3.8% tax, raising somewhere over
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$120 billion. another reason why so few americans have the same positive opinion that we've heard from some of our friends on the other side. think about the whole notion of how the health care law is going to regulate the posting of calories at pizza parlors, grocery stores, all over the place, and by default, increasing the price of these groceries, these pizzas, and other nonfood items. reducing the number of employees' hours, talking about the impact on middle-income america. so many americans losing, perhaps up to 25% of their income because of the aca. we can see why as so many americans have found themselves frustrated with where we are with the aca that it's not old news to them. it's not old news, actually, when you think about the fact that so many americans are facing higher premiums. we've heard so many different numbers this morning. we know that at least some
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states have seen an increase of more than 25% of their health care cost. two states have seen those numbers go over 35%. those are real dollars for struggling americans who cannot afford the cost of health insurance. and not only are the premiums higher, the deductibles are higher, the out-of-pocket expenses are higher. the only thing that's actually lower are the doctors to choose from and the hospitals to go to. we've seen a catastrophic occurrence under this health care law. and even at one of the most recent democrat town halls, a young lady who supported president obama, who supports the health care law, said that her premiums have doubled, tripled. her concerns were strong, clear. here's one real case example that ms. bliss, i hope this is no longer happening. a young man named tom duguele from elgin, south carolina, who
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created an account on healthcare.gov was called shortly thereafter by a man named mr. dugel, from a guy named justin hadley from north carolina, who had done the exact same thing, gone online to healthcare.gov and created an account. but what he found populating his account was information from mr. dugle. he called hhs and could not get any assistance. finally, they called our office, and during one of the hearings, we were able to get that situation solved, or at least the beginning of that situation solved. can you guarantee me that that situation is no longer occurring anywhere within healthcare.gov? >> i cannot guarantee that. we've overseen and conducted reviews of the controls to ensure that both the website and other parts of the program and iden verification, knowledge verification are working properly, but we have raised concerns about some flaws or weaknesses in those controls,
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similar to gao, and i can't make that guarantee, but we're certainly working hard to identify where there's a vulnerability of that happening and make recommendations on how to improve it. >> my last question, since i'm out of time so quickly here today, back to you, ms. bliss, is that it appeared that, as we have celebrated the success of improving the system in the first couple of months, i will note a new $1 trillion program, one of the recommendations was for clear leadership. earth-shattering. thank you. >> senator isakson. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and i apologize for missing your testimony and i apologize for being late, but i do have one question based on a letter that i have sent previously to cms, and i want to ask this question to mr. bagdoyan?
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is that correct? you agree that increasing the utilization of existing, tested data sources is one easy way that cms can reach the mutual goal of expanding program integrity and management and better access to fraud risk? >> yes, that's, in fact, one of our recommendations to cms is to consider doing that on an active basis, both to capture the data and then analyze the data for whatever indicators that they may throw off and act upon those, yes. >> then do you have any idea when cms is going to move forward to actually take advantage of that and do it? >> well, as i stated before in response to several senators' questions, cms has accepted those recommendations. they are on record in writing as having done so. and as i said in my opening statement, it is now incumbent on the agency to take action on a timely basis. but as i said, it will take time to work through this. it's not an easy fix, it's not a
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short-term fix, it's not a one-and-done fix. >> well, i apologize for being late, because obviously, you covered it in your opening statement, but there is readily available data and companies that are available to provide information that are already under contract to cms that could greatly enhance the integrity of the program and uproot fraud a lot easier, and i appreciate your testimony to that effect. >> yeah, the data are available, definitely. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. i want to thank our witnesses for appearing here today. the work that each of you do is very important, as far as we're concerned. you and your organizations, it's vitally important to this committee, and we're thankful for the quality product that both the hhs, oig and you do in oversight efforts. i also want to thank my colleagues in their participation in this hearing. i think the hearing has been insightful, enlightening. unfortunately, i think this hearing further revealed that we are only now getting to the water level of the obamacare iceberg, it seems to me.
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as premiums continue to skyrocket and insurance options become more and more limited, an increasing number of americans are being, you know, hung out to dry. over the past year, we had a reasonable amount of consensus on several of the unworkable and failed provisions of obamacare, but for some reason, many still have their heads stuck in the sand, hoping that things will finally start working out at some point. now, i implore my democratic colleagues to work with me and my republican friends to repeal and replace the so-called affordable care act, before it's altogether too late. insurance premiums and health care costs continue to rise, and little's being done to stem the tide. it's high time to put partisan politicking and bickering aside and find workable, bipartisan solution. there's more we can do. there is more we, it seems to me, have to do. and honestly, i earnestly believe that we can do it.
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the american people deserve better than what they have right now, and more importantly, than what they are about to have in the next few years. so, i encourage each of my colleagues to meet with me and find workable solutions, and i encourage both of you to keep doing the jobs that you're doing. they're very important to this committee, and i think to our country at large. i would ask that any written questions for the record be submitted by thursday, march 31st of this year. and with that, this hearing will be adjourned. thank you for being here.
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arizona holds its presidential primary tomorrow, and today, hillary clinton is in that state with a get out the vote rally in phoenix. you can see that live starting at 6:30 eastern here on c-span3.
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booktv's in prime time on c-span2, starting tonight at 8:30 eastern. each night will feature a series of programs on topics ranging from politics and education to medical care and national security, plus, encore presentations from recent book festivals. tune in for booktv in prime time, this week on c-span2. go to booktv.org for the complete schedule. tonight on "the communicators," a look at the fcc's lifeline subsidy program and the plan to include broadband internet access in order to bridge the digital divide between higher and lower income americans. the fcc is expected to take up the proposal at the end of march. we'll talk with amina feslula, policy director at benton foundation, and daniel lyons, visiting scholar at aei's center for internet communications and technology policy. we're joined by brendan sasso,
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national journal technology reporter. >> low-income consumers need access to broadband now. it is unclear to me that congress would be able to pass a support that's directly aimed at low-income users. this congress has not been particularly supportive of folks who are in poverty. the conversations that have been on the hill have been hard to decipher. >> there's a sense in which the fcc's putting the cart before the horse, because they haven't done a real study to suggest these are the drivers that are keeping low-income people from adopting broadband service and this is the amount we're going to need, where we don't know if we need $9 a month for 10 million people or $45 a month for 2 million people, right? you want to make sure you're deploying the money intelligently and effectively, and the fcc simply hasn't done that level of analysis. >> watch "the communicators," tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span2.
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the brookings institution hosts a discussion today on monetary policy and how the u.s. might respond to a recession. live coverage beginning at 2:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2. later today, republican presidential candidates john kasich, donald trump and ted cruz speak to the american israel public affairs committee, or aipac, at their annual policy conference in washington. live coverage, 5:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2. senator jeff sessions spoke last week about the influence of populism on u.s. politics, its impact on the presidential campaign and his endorsement of donald trump for the republican presidential nomination. this is 50 minutes. >> ladies and gentlemen, we are extremely pleased to have senator sessions here with us.
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senator, i made them fill out a questionnaire, and they all claim they know everything about you. for those who don't know, what was it, february 28th? you were the first senator to endorse mr. trump. and then march 3rd, you became chairman of his foreign affairs advisory committee. and we've talked recently, i think it was two mondays ago, as i said it's important for these folks inside the beltway and the media to know what america's really like. but there are two things that the elite say that i think might be of interesting. we talked about peggan noonan, piece about the unprotected, writing about the trump phenomenon. there are the protected and unprotected. the protected make public policy, the unprotected live in it. the unprotected are starting to push back powerfully. the protected are the accomplished, the secure, the successful, those who make power and have access to it. they are protected from the
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roughness of the world, more to the point they are protected from the world they created." that was peggy noonan. ours a tight schedule, so i'll turn it over to you. one thing you should know, and the reason the senator's got to leave early, the secretary of defense will be testifying before his committee, and defense is even more important than the accf. what we're going to do -- this is like cnn. after you leave, we're going to have a bunch of famous reporters sit in here and we're going to comment on what you say and we'll give you unedited tape. so, go for it. >> okay. use that? >> yep. >> all right. well, thank you. mark invited me. he's been a good friend and had some great programs. can you hear? is that all right? and i've benefited from attending, and thank you for that. well, how did we get here? how did all of this happen? let me just tell you a little bit of the story and how i feel about it. after the last election, there
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was this shocking event for the republicans, and there was a postmortem about it and a lot of people had ideas about how to fix the thing, because you know, romney said you can't win them at 47%, in effect, and we only have 47% and we're going to lose. it was a pretty negative thing when that all leaked out in the campaign, but it raised a real lion's tail. and so, the geniuses that wanted to tell us how to win the next election said, well, you've got to be more moderate and you've got to have amnesty. that was their agenda. and we had a big meeting. there was a big meeting. i don't know why they invited me, but this was an established meeting. they had their pollsters and the politicians, and they went around, and i questioned them. it was pretty -- a little bit tense. but i questioned them. i didn't feel good about that and didn't think that's where the american people are. people think you go from a spectrum of conservative to liberal and the people in the middle are moderates.
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they're not moderates! these are decent people working every day that swing around and vote for who they think is right, worried about their future, their children. a lot of them are angry and frustrated. a lot of them think we're all a bunch of crooks, and they don't like it, what's going on in washington. so, how do you appeal to them to get over 50%? that's the way you win elections. and in that group, primarily, are people below $50,000 a year in income. in 2004, bush won a big victory, the last big victory we've had on the national scale, proved it could be done, and he split the $30,000 to $50,000-a-year worker evenly. romney lost the $30,000 to $50,000-a-year income by 15 points and under $30,000 by 28 points. so, the working american, hispanic, immigrant,
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native-born, african-american is where the election is being lost. and somebody needs to be talking to them about their concerns, and they're not concerned about somebody who would like to enter the country illegally. that's not on their minds, primarily. they're worried about their job, their safety, the future of their country. they're americans. they've pulled for america, not the global economy. give me a break. what do they care about that? and we as elected officials -- i guess it's my lawyer training, mark, but i'm a trustee for business people or for their stockholders, citizens of my people, who i owe my allegiance to. what helps them? so, that's kind of been the dispute, and it's been bubbling and brewing and brewing and brewing. and so, they brought up the big amnesty bill. and this was going to fix everything and make everybody
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love us, and we were going to win elections 30 years from now. what i'm really primarily worried about is the election in november, not 30 years from now. all right, so, that's kind of how this begun. so, i questioned the amnesty bill. i think we proved conclusively that it didn't do what it promised. it suggested it was going to reduce immigration and end illegal immigration, but one expert at our hearing yesterday said it doubled illegal immigration, it increased legal immigration at least 50%. well, that wasn't what the american people thought was happening in the legislation. we admit a million people a year, colleagues, friends. that's a lot. 1.1 million, really. we have 700,000 people in the country on work visas. less than half of those are agricultural, seasonal visas. we have 600,000 students who
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have been improperly, in many ways, given the right to work, 100,000 asylumees and refugees, who can take any job. we give 1.1 million legal, permanent residents a year. that's historic. no nation in the world reaches that number. so, we are very generous on immigration. the idea that we're trying to by ending illegal immigration is somehow going to change the situation dramatically about how many people enter the country is not true. it's just not. get this -- maybe somebody has got a glass of water, might help me. get this, from 2000 to 2014, i'm just telling you the enormity of what's happening, and most people don't understand it and why people are uneasy, unhappy. gingrich said enter a vote. we had 16.7 million native-born
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americans added to the country. by 2000 to 2014 -- thank you -- they had less jobs in 2014 in 2000. immigrants added 5.7 million jobs. so, all new jobs through that whole more than a decade went to immigrants. wages are down. the work force participation rate, despite unemployment rate, is the lowest in 40 years. mark camerota at cis testified yesterday that in 2000, three-fourths of americans in their working years were working. 2015, last year, only two-thirds were working. many of those have taken jobs
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they lost from manufacturing, lower-wage jobs with less benefits, less retirement, less health care quality. so, people are not happy out there. just, we've got to recognize this. and so, they believe that the immigration is impacting their ability to get a job. by the way, if you travel to states, like i do in alabama, the number of robotics that are being implemented throughout the manufacturing process is all over. it's huge. and so, that is also a factor in the fact that there are just not that many jobs being created. we're not going to stop robotics and computers that save labor, but it's just a fact. so, we're having a hard time finding jobs for our own people. dr. borhas at harvard, the most knowledgeable and recognized man probably in the world on immigration and wages and jobs, testified for the first time in
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a number of years. he's testified a number of times. yesterday he was before our subcommittee, and he said there is no doubt that a large flow of wage immigrants into any sector of the economy pulls down wages. it's an absolute fact. how could it be otherwise? and if camerota said if there's a shortage of labor, why aren't wages going up instead of down? so, yesterday settled forever in my mind that if there's any argument that flooding a labor market with extra labor does not pull down wages, it does. so, people are worried about that, and we ought to talk about it. cameron in the uk said there's nothing wrong with discussing this. what's wrong about it? is it something immoral? you can't discuss the interests
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of the american people when you consider what an immigration policy should be? they've reduced their immigration flow. so, that's a big, big part of it. and so, i think people feel like, who's representing me? so, we had 30 years of promises to fix illegal immigration and create an immigration system that's honest, fair, and the american people can be proud of. promise, promise, promise. and what do we get but this bogus amnesty bill that would have made the situation worse. and finally, the american people rose up and stopped it in the house by the narrowest of margins, but establishments on both sides met in secret for months, wrote up this bill, ran it like a political campaign. they spent over $1 billion. they had political consultants design how to ram it through, and not many of us opposed, but
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it got stopped. so, i just think, do we want to listen to the people for a change? is that liberal? to say you want an immigration policy that is sustainable, that protects the interests of america? shouldn't we have a policy that admits people based on their ability to be productive and to flourish in america, not people who we know are not going to be able to be successful in america? so, i think that's a big issue. then the other one is trade. i've supported all these trade agreements. i think i voted against one because it changed immigration law. but i voted for cafta and i voted for the initiative and the korean deal. well, let's look at the korean deal. so, the promises always have no one was the trade deals are going to be great for everybody, right? going to lift wages, going to help us export.
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and good trade deals can do that. but i voted for the korean deal. they are good friends, they are our allies, i'm proud of their achievements. so, president obama, when he signed it, he told the world that it would increase our exports to korea by $10 billion annually. at the time he signed it. we got the transcript on it. so, what happened? now, we basically had no increase in exports to korea. their imports to the united states increased $12 billion, and our trade deficit since that time has increased 280%. does anybody care? does anybody go back and say, we're going to sue you for malpractice for this misrepresentation? the american people are not happy about it. they have never thought these trade deals were as good as a
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lot of people thought, and they've been dubious about it. but, oh, no, we knew the right thing and trade is always good. but i believe the right way to think about it is a trade agreement is a contract between two parties, and the contract, my daddy always taught me, should benefit both sides, not just one. and a good negotiator should be able to negotiate agreements that serve your national interests, and if not, you don't sign it. just that simple. and this is what romney said in iowa eight years ago. i've never forgotten it, and i think it's accurate. and his abandonment of this position probably cost him the election. so, in iowa, he said, if you don't stand up to china, they'll run over you. but they say if you stand up to
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china, it will cause a trade war. but we're in a trade war. we're just not fighting. and then he said the key thi thing -- and anyway, they have more to lose than we do. think about it. we've got the leverage. they have to have our market. the mercantilist competitors we face around the world that are not free market but are mercantilists, they lust for access to the u.s. market, and we ought to say to them, you don't buy our chicken, you're not getting access to our market so we can buy some product from you. grow up. we're not going to undermine the welfare of american manufacturing and american workers on some theory that the united states must sign any trade agreement around the whole world and make this whole thing wonderful and we're going to live in peace and harmony forever. so, i'm a conservative, and i
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think -- well, bob terrell at the american spectators' view is conservatism is a cast of mind, not an ideology. my cast of mind is i'm dubious about these promises. i'm looking at these results, and they're not so good. should we be listening to the american people for a change here? is that liberal? to say we're going to negotiate tougher on trade agreements, that we're going to insist that the immigration flow be lawful and that it does not undermine the ability of americans to find jobs? i think that's the -- that's been the debate that's been going on publicly and not so publicly within the republican conference for quite a long time now, and we have a contest. arguments are being tested out in the market, and who's going to the top and who's staying at
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the top? i think that it validates, maybe even more than i suspected, the hunger for the american people for somebody that listens to them. we've promised these trade agreements are going to be great. we've promised that we're going to fix immigration for 30 years, and it hasn't happened. so, i think people have a right to be mad. oh, this is populism, oh. i got an e-mail from alabama justice, harvard graduate, great legal author. he said, jeff, they put down populism, but there's nothing wrong with honest populism. an honest defense of the rights of working americans who represent a majority of the people who cast votes on election day. and if you want to be elected, somebody better be sure that they're talking to them and protecting their interests. so, i'm just -- you know, i think -- i think that we're at a
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point that this is making itself felt in a way that hasn't been before. i can't predict how it all will come out. there will be a lot of factors in the debate. but i think the debate has been transformed, and it's perfectly legitimate that people face the question of how are the american people doing, average families struggling, how can we help make their lives better? or you capital guy, this capitalist, you push a button and it goes to emerging markets, right? you can't -- if you're working at a plant in alabama, it gets closed, you just can't go to vietnam to take that job or wherever it went, you know? i mean, so, there's human beings here. and as representatives, we have to know that we represent human beings with cares and concerns, and we ought to work hard to protect their interests. and one more factor is -- i won't go into detail about it,
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but i think it's really important -- the concept of nationalism, they say, as if that's somehow bad. but in my view, the nation state is not obsolete. europe is unable to function as an entity, really. it's incapable, as kissinger once said, of calling on its members to sacrifice. sacrifice for denmark and the uk, maybe, but who's willing to die for brussels? where i'm going tonight for a conference. and so, this whole idea that we're getting these international trade agreements, where number nine gets the same vote as the leader of the economy, of the greatest economy in the world? give me a break. that's not good trade negotiations. we do not need to go into a trans-pacific union to have our -- you know, if we want to do trade deals, they should be bilateral, in my opinion, and we should do those.
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and we reach agreements with our partne partners. maybe some of the principles that are in this tpp could be in any trade agreement that we sign bilaterally, but i would go to bilateral trade and focus on that. so, now i've had my -- mark, you're a. >> are you going to be mad at me? you have to get out of here. >> well, thank you all for letting me share that. i'm not a perfect economist, i'm just looking at the data and feel like it honestly can be said that we ought to pay more attention to people who fight our wars, raise our children and create the next generation. >> you said you'd take a few questions and these two tables are in the media. they've been chasing you for a while. so i'm get to get killed by
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them. beth you asked more for -- >> senator sessions -- >> you're with? >> i'm with the "wall street journal," beth reinhart, high. your candidate -- you talked today about your concerns about immigrants taking jobs away from americans. you've seen, i'm sure, the reports about mr. trump's use of temporary foreign workers at many of his resorts. have you talked to him about that issue? are you concerned about him taking advantage of that program? >> well, look, he's pretty frank about it. he used what the law allowed him to use. what we learned was under the h-1b program that the gang of eight bill would have tripled and had no real reform in it. the h-1b program it was legal for california edison and disney to contract with a company and replace their entire it
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department. somewhere their own fired employees when everybody else thought the a1 program was set up to help find talented workers and that wasn't we're not going to end seasonal work. but i don't see this as a problem, he said he will theend this h1b program. i'm on three bill, grassley, durb durbin, bill nelson, cruz, on bills that will change it significantly. you can say you're going to end it and start over or whatever but i think we'll always have a program that allows seasonal
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workers and always have some sort of program that allows a limited number of high skilled workers but you can't just say i'm going to offer $80,000 a year salary and i can't get a high skilled worker so let me bring people around the globe that will work for $80,000. so the market should work but you can flood the market with enough labor that it won't work. >> and you're from the people's newspaper, "usa today". >> paul singer with "usa today." some of this sounds like the outcome of a 20-year process of globalization. whether it's the joining of the wto, nafta, various trade deals. do you believe it's time to extract ourselves from either the wto, the united nations, any of these global management structures? >> i've never said we should get out of the u.n. and i'm not prepared to say we should get
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out of wto but it does erode a power that the united states has. >> intentionally. >> yes. and -- this is my view. our trading partners, pacific probably even more than europe, are smaller countries for the most part. they're very nationalistic and they create national policies designed to exploit trade agreements to increase their manufacturing and reduce the imports that they have. they just do. what world are we living in not to believe that. and so you see china or you can invest in this great market and people are going to get rich but you have to give us your technology, half your company, they steal our technology and then it starts getting spread around. so i think the united states should be more willing to defend itself and it has the leverages
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to push back. so we've gone very far, i don't see us retreating significantly on trade but i do see us saying that we're not going to -- i believe -- i have said and i think candidates should say we're not going to lose a single job in the future as a result of cheating on our trade agreements. and currency is huge so we had this fight over and that rob portman, bush's former trade representative led the battle to tighten up our controls on currency abuse and it was always resisted, we got a show vote that passed but it didn't have any effect and it's not the tpp. so if the tpp is signed it won't have currency controls and as volcker said a number of years ago, federal reserve chairman, currency can wipe out in a few
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minutes the effects of a trade agreement that took years to negotiate. so that's a big factor that's not being addressed. >> how about one more for you? the great associate editor of the "washington post," karen deyoung, who used to be a neighbor. >> senator, as mark said, you're the head of mr. trump's national security team and mr. trump said yesterday that he largely depends on himself to formulate his foreign and national security policy. could you tell us, if it's important you at this point in the election to put together a team of experts and where you are on that process which mr. trump has said is going to be a couple weeks but he's been saying that for a long time. >> well, trump's instincts have i think been proven wise.
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i mean, i supported bush, i was aggressive on iraq and afghanistan and i believe in that and fought for it and stayed firm all the way through and feel like after all we did it was a mistake of monumental proportions and not maintaining a base of troop strength in iraq with 15,000 troops, mosul would never have fallen, in my opinion. and going to zero was just an unmitigated disaster, hour he did say early on in the process he did not think iraq was good, you can judge for yourself how well you think that instinct was. he opposed libya, i think he was totally right on that. he's opposed and questioned syria, i think he's been right on that and i think his emphasis
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on a more realistic, pragmatic foreign policy is good. i think an argument can be made that there's no reason for the united states and russia to be at this loggerheads and somehow, some way, we ought to be able to break that logjam. strategically it's not justified for either country. it may not work. putin may not be able to be dealt with but i don't condemn his instincts that we ought to attempt to do that and so i think you'd have a foreign policy that when we identify an enemy he would move with strength and vigor and would be more reluctant to see us enmeshed in conflicts around the globe for which there's no real end in sight. we have the ability we know. we can topple a government. that's one thing we've learned.
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we can topple most any government. what do you do after that? libya, you know? we've got a million people on north africa wanting to come to the united states. it's a humanitarian disaster. i went there with john mccain. qaddafi quit building bombs, he was building housing, you could see it for miles. apartment complexes and all that they were using that oil money for and that was stopped and now it's a humanitarian disaster. syria, assad has to go, he's going to fall in a few months said the president and we created help prolong -- i think in honesty you could say this refugee crisis, humanitarian losses the deaths in the war that assad and his brutality has caused may not have been nearly so bad if we'd shown more restraint. so anyway, i think -- i don't think this is a trigger happy guy and i'm talking to a lot of
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good people and i'll be talking to mr. trump today to report on those calls and just to try to make sure that i'm sharing with him honestly. a lot of these are private conversations as other and kates are having. does anybody who kasich's advisory team is? or ted cruz's for that matter? i don't know but -- so i would just -- maybe that answers you. >> well, senator, godspeed, make sure we get our money's worth from the department. >> it's a lot of money. thank you, mark. >> thank you, appreciate it. [ applause ] >> well, thank you again, senator sessions. this is the kickoff of something that everybody, all my
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colleagues at the accf are all excited about and this is our 2016 presidential election project. we have six former democratic members as chairing it and six former republican members so this is just the beginning. what i thought i would do when i found out yesterday about the secretary of defense having to meet with senator sessions i thought we'd try to do a cnn type of thing and so we got cameras fear c-span and we've got some journalists, some of whom i've hopefully convinced to come up here and if they want to share some of their views on what was said, if not they don't to. and just entertain questions and discussions from you all. in terms of background. we're lucky we've got about ten prominent journalists here, about eight countries represented that go all the way -- and i can't pick favorites. let me start, the republic of south africa, the republic of
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lithuania, egypt, we've got a bunch of countries here so it was good for them to hear that perspective. but what we can do since it's crowded, instead of moving up here, if any of the journalists want to comment, why don't you just go ahead and we'll entertain questions. does that make sense? any of the journalists want to comment on what's been said? my god, they can't be shy. >> i'll give you one. is i sent myself this e-mail because i got a tweet yesterday that was interesting to me. the way the senator describes the populist movement is slightly different than the way the populist people i hear from describe the populist movement and the tweet i got yesterday that i enjoyed the guy said to me "i voted for trump because we need a nut case to get rid of the car salesmen who've been
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lying to us all these years." which i think is a much more succinct way of summing up the populist feel than this discussion here was and to some degree i think explains better voters' real mole separation than a global discussion about the wto and trade. >> anybody else want to weigh in? nobody? let me try this. some of you may have heard of charles murray, the renown political scientist. here's what he says about trumpism. "trumpism is the voice of the beleaguered working class telling us it too is falling away. good macroeconomic policies imperative for economic growth, jobs and a higher standard of living for all americans. but for someone living in a town with a big company shut down the factory moved the jobs to china or the roofer who watches the contractor hire illegal immigrants because they are
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cheaper, anger and frustration are rational." let me make it clear, i am not a supporter of any one candidate but there are certain anxieties that are guess are being demonstrated out here and the interesting question is after the campaign, whoever gets elected, what next? does anybody want to weigh in. >> you mean from the audience? >> yeah, i'm sorry. could you identify yourself, sir? >> i'm pat malloy, a trade lawyer in washington. i can remember campaigning for john kerry in 2004 and hearing people say they're shipping our jobs to asia and they're shipping our children to iraq and i think that captured some of the frustration in the american people and what they see has happened here and i thought the senator really
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captured a loath of that in his remarks to this group today. >> anybody else? if you don't volunteer i guess i'll just call on you, especially the foreign diplomats who are going to be very nervous. other thoughts? yes, sir? could you identify yourself. >> my name is nathan rodriguez with mcgraw-hill financial. my thought is, the senator brought up and it was brought up by the media about trump hired foreign immigrant workers to do part time work and trump during his debate acknowledged that there's just jobs that americans don't want and the question i always have in these discussions is why is there so much of a focus on stopping illegal immigrations when economic tells us immigrants can earn a higher salary here, they're going to come here and fight through whatever barriers there are. and especially with the upcoming
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autonomization of jobs. i don't know why we can't train people so that computers and machines can't take jobs from the american people. anybody. >> anybody want to weigh in. >> i'm mark petit with congressman brook's office. you know, the notion -- there's seven billion people outside our borders and 80% of them make less than a welfare recipient. we can take a billion of them and not help the rest and be like india. i mean, there's a balance somewhere is what we're talking about and so i guess the notion
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is what are we helped by flooding the country with vast numbers of people given our population today? and these issues of out mission, well, it doesn't help us to add more people while we automate. >> well, we've got a distinguished journalist here from a very well known conservative magazine who has had some issues with trump. if he or she wants to comment, they can and if not they need not. i guess they need not. i've got -- since i've got these journalists here, i've got two pending pieces. one is about trump's path to the white house and it's through mccomb county. does anybody know what mccomb county is? >> michigan. >> michigan. and you know what happened there in mccomb county?
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that was the home of the reagan democrats and as you probably know this is one of the most studied counties in american political history. it went 63% for kennedy and 66% reagan and i looked at the numbers on mccomb county and you don't vote by party, it's an open primary so you had a tremendous increase in turnout and a tremendous reawakening of what might be the reagan democrats so i think i'm just making one comment. i don't know how many -- no one is here from -- is someone here from npr? no, i think he should have been here because npr talked about perhaps getting some reagan democrats but losing "npr republicans." so i don't know what happened there. so that's an interesting phenomenon. on the populism thing, paul, i
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looked at populism and there's right wing populism and there's left wing populism and as a matter of fact they characterize trump as a right wing populist and huey long as a left wing populist and the only concern i have -- and we do have some distinguished economic journalism as best i can tell, populism isn't an economic theory. >> well, and i don't -- my impression has been, again, that this is not -- that the movement we are seeing is not an economic theory at the rasz roots. i think to some degree ross perot was more of an economic theory. his was the giant sucking sound. this one seems a little less focused specifically on any economic theory. it seems to be as the senator was alluding to a lot of particularly males, particularly white males who are very concerned about their place in
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the economic structure and the social structure of the world and there is a sense that somehow their place in the country has been eroding and the country's place in the world has been eroding and those are both frightening thing. >> we do have as i said, some individuals from foreign embassies here. but we also have at least one foreign journalist here and when i talked with him late yesterday evening, obviously i think foreign observers, whether they be from the embassies or journalists are intrigued with what's going on and comparing it to what's going on in europe so if this individual would like to comment, i'd be so happy because i need participation and i think that individual -- could you identify yourself? >> sure, i'm morris koch, i'm
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here for germany business daily. i mean, if i maybe want to say one thing that i've noticed covering the primaries, we germans are always seen as specialists on angst. and when i go to trump rallies, cruz rallies, wherever you identify yourself as german the people that you talk to immediately say "you are destroying your country, you must be crazy" and they talk about the refugee crisis. it's interesting when you talk to german officials, they're much more optimistic, they recognize the problem that happened on new year's eve but they say they have made great progress so far processing the asylum seekers and getting some order into the immigration and i think it's interesting because that's the can-do attitude that germans usually associate with
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the u.s. and now it's basically turned around. you have angst here and more -- >> if i could comment on that, i think merkel has lost elections to some right wing parties in germany, has she not? >> it's true. but she didn't run in these elections, obviously, it was her party that lost and on top of the tickets were people from her own party who were critical of her immigration parties. >> i think there's a real reaction going on in germany. >> but the people who won in those states, a green candidate in the most conservative part of the country, a green candidate won the most vote, he is pro-immigration. so to say that there's a huge backlash because of that is true but also not the whole picture,
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still a big majority of the country thinks that it was right what she did and she's being credited for that. her numbers go up again in polls and it's still open. one terror attack could change everything, for example. >> other comments? suggestions. i mean, i know a lot of you folks out here. yes, sir. and you can identify yourself if you'd like or you don't have to. >> i'm from the asianegyptian embassy. i want to raise an issue regarding the middle east of course. senator jeff touched upon this in his speech and all the nominees either from the republican or the democratic party touched also on their debates. the dilemma between keeping what we said the bad leaders in the middle east or push them to step down and create a political
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vacuum this is a very, very big dilemma now. remembers choose the way to keep these leaders, it would create more stable situation in the middle east. the democratic people said that we can not accept this kind of bad leaders and we should push them to step down. the problem now is both sides skip one important issue, that the aspiration of the people in the middle east to live a better future. so now we have a political vacuum in four or five countries -- libya, syria, yemen, iraq and we found some countries, of course, finance ing terrorist axive theties and
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later we discover there is a classification of the terrorists. we have good terrorists and bad terrorists. in syria, for example, we have isil, this is a bad terrorist. and we have al nusra, this is a good terrorist. we can deal with them, we speak with them, we can negotiate with them. so it's a gray area. how can we trust someone who carries a gun or a weapon and uses it against these people to do enough for the future of his country? the other side, of course, another issue, the iran deal. until you of course we have two point of views in the u.s., against and pro.
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but no one is kiss cussing how this iran deal will affect the situation in the middle east and the security of the middle east and the u.s. interest in the middle east and, of course, some national interest of some countries, especially in the gulf and egypt. and israel also so i think we feed more debate about these issu issues. >> well, our political journalist friends can comment on that, which are the driving issues? i do want to say one thing before everybody leaves and this is if you talk about -- as i alluded to paul, if you talk about the rise of populism, it's on the left and on the right. and another thing that i'm toying with is you've gotten a avid socialist running and an avid capitalist running and what do they have in common? what they have in common -- remember, this is the american council for capital formation -- is an attack on capital and talk
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talk about in terms of physical capital or financial capital and what is particularly intriguing is young people's add tuesday towards that and you have -- you've got peggy noonan, an advisor, speech writer for president reagan who basically said these young kids just don't know anything about socialism or capitalism and they need to be educated on the merits of both then on the other side you have on the center right you've got bill galston who was an advisor to bill clinton expressing the same concern and that is about basic economic education in this country. one thing for sure, it's not a boring time. i want to thank you for coming and please -- i'm sorry, sir, you are? >> i'm li bin from the chinese
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embassy. i think i really am impressed by what the senator has said. some points, i think first of all i think he's really -- yeah, i really understood several points that he's really advocating, immigration, trade and other issues related to u.s. national interests and i think they are all correct from the american point of view. i mean, the issue is -- what approaches you have for those issues that are relating to other countries. he mentioned about china, he mentioned about the war. trade war that -- the trade war is there, the issue is we're not fighting the war, issues like that. and i think there are several approaches, one is that you solely consider the u.s. interest and then the second approach is that you not only consider the u.s. interest but you also think of the issue
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ofs -- the interests of other countries combine sod that the second one, you know will be -- if you take second approach it will impact other countries but on a lesser extent because you'll take into consideration their interests too. but the first is simple, that you just take into consideration of the u.s. interests and it will certainly impact the other countries, right? because although the first one is simple, but it will impact negatively other countries like china. secondly, i think -- i mean, talking about trump, it's really a time that everybody has changed -- many of the people have changed their mind compared with several months ago when they were not taking into this -- this candidate into serious consideration but now they are taking him very seriously into consideration and they think many of the issues that he expresses are really
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correct or really targeting against some of the interests of the american people, especially those weak groups. soy think it's -- we really get a lot from this sessions and we understand how american politicians think of some of the issues of other nations. but i really appreciate senator session's view when he said we are not going to leave united nations, we're not going leave wto, we will still be in rather than out. things like that, those issues are pretty neutral, which is good. which is internationalist rather than exclusionist. i mean, you want to leave those group which is some of the extremists were saying, you know, that if you leave them they are pretty also reasonable. but i appreciate the senator's
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view. >> well, i thank you and this is one of the things we want to pursue. we have david banks here, our executive vice president who is in charge of our 2016 election project and we've been through 10 elections at the accf, we've interacted with the economic advisors of many of the candidates. that's been our strong fort, whether it be austin goolsbee in 2008 or glen hubbard is on our board and we're looking for ideas and what's going on in the u.s. election has impact abroad so if any of the diplomats here from bulgaria, south africa and overs want to come together with some idea on the election and the ramifications we'd be very, very interested. thank you. your suggestions are always welcome. it's a busy time for everybody so we appreciate you taking the time to be with us today. thank you. [ applause
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[ applause ] [ indistinct conversation ] arizona holds its presidential primary tomorrow and today hillary clinton is in that state with a get out the vote rally in phoenix. you can see that live at 6:30 eastern on c-span 3. tonight on "the communicators" a look at the fcc's lifeline subsidy program and the plan to include broadband internet access in
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order to bridge the digital divide between higher and lower income americans. the fcc is expected to take up the proposal at the end of march. we'll talk with the policy director at the benton foundation and daniel lyons, visiting scholar at aei center for internet communications and technology policy. we're joined by brendan sasso, "national journal" technology reporter. >> low-income consumers need access to broad band now. it's uncareer to me that congress would be able to pass a support for -- that's directly aimed at low income users. this congress has not been particularly supportive of folks who are in poverty. the conversations that have been on the hill have been hard to decipher. >> there's a sense in which the fcc is putting the cart before the horse because they haven't done a study to suggest these are the drivers that are keeping low income people from adopting
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broadband service and this is the amount we're going to need. we don't know if we need $95 mon -- $9 a month for 10 million people. the fcc hasn't done that level of analysis. >> watch "the communicators" tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span 2. book tv is in prime time on c-span 2. starting tonight at 8:30 east n eastern. each night will feature a series of programs on topics ranging from politics and education to medical care and national security. plus encore presentations from recent book festivals. tune in for book tv in prime time this week on c-span 2. go to booktv.org for the complete schedule. the senate commerce committee last week held a hearing on self-driving cars. witnesses from general motors, google and auto parts maker and
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the ride sharing company lyft testified. south dakota senator john thune chaired this hearing. it's about two hours. [ insistent [ indistinct conversation ]
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[ no audio ] good afternoon everyone, i want to thank everyone for coming today as we discuss automated vehicles and the boundless opportunities this technology offers. americans love their cars. since the automobile first rolled off the assembly line in river rouge, michigan, cars in america have offered independence, mobility and adventu adventure. now profound changes are coming to our roads, technological advancements are progressing at a rapid pace and fully self--driving cars will be here sooner than we think. we're facing an opportunity to expand the options for transportation by car while also making it smarter and safer. yet technological challenges
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remain and people will need to become comfortable with the idea of being passengers in their own cars. we all like that feeling of control when we hold the steering wheel. perhaps the greatest hurdle to the deployment of these vehicles may be a regulatory environment with a patchwork of state and federal laws unable to keep pace with these evolving technologies. everything from driver-assist functions like lane departure warnings to completely autonomous vehicles will transform transportation and mobility, profoundly affecting safety issues that have confronted society since the invention of the car. in 2014, 32,675 americans lost their lives due to car accidents. more than 90% of these tragedies are linked to human error, driver choices, intoxication and distraction. automated vehicles have the potential to reduce that number dramatically. unlike human driver, automated
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vehicles don't get ditired, dru or distracted. south dakota's 24/7 sew pryty program, which works to change behavior through round-the-clock monitoring, is one successful program. but i'm eager to hear how autonomous vehicles could reduce accidents. in addition to help regular deuce accidents on american roads, autonomous vehicles promise to improve the quality of life for older americans and members of the disabled community. no longer will a lack of accessible transportation hinter opportunities for employment or community involvement. as america's population ages, families will no longer have to struggle with the difficult decision of when to take the keys away from mom or dad. automated vehicles could also end one of the most frustrating parts of modern urban life, the traffic jam. this alone would improve the quality of life for many commuters with more time for families as commutes shorten and if the car does all of the driving, time spent in a car
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could be productive such as reading work e-mails, checking the box score from last night's game or catching up on the highlights on sports center. i'm speaking of my own past times here. with no more gridlock, traffic will flow more smoothly and efficiently. even fuel economy is likely to improve since automated vehicles will be more efficient than human drivers. these advancements have the potential to have shape communities. currently parking garages and surface lots take up one-third of the land in cities. imagine a technology that will revolutionize parking as we know it, allowing the land to be reclaimed and repurposed. to implement this future we need to challenge ourselves to overcome the 20th century conception of what a car must have -- side and rear-view mirrors, a brake pedal, a steering wheel and even the concept of a high sensed human driver. because so much is possible, we must be careful not to stymie innovation because of a lack of imagination. federal and state governments may need to rethink ow they
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regular and license vehicles for the future. we must ensure that the united states remains the cradle of innovation and that we continue to lead the way in the development and deployment of automated vehicles. in addition, questions regarding liability, insurance, privacy, security and structure need answers. these aren't small things but none of them is insurmountable and if congress, the department of transportation, industry and stakeholders work together we will see all the benefits promised. this morning the committee had the great opportunity to see some of this technology in action when we brought self-drive to capitol hill. continental, volkswagen, bmw and tesla provided by vehicles that gave us firsthand experience to see what the future may hold in a preview to the discussions at this hearing. i want to thank them for making those vehicles available. we're joined by witnesses representing google x, general motors, delphi and lyft, companies with direct stakes in
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automated technology. we're also joined by dr. cummings from duke university who is also a distinguished naval aviator and returning witness before our committee. dr. cummings, thank you for your service to our country. we look forward to hearing from all of our witnesses to learn more about what they're doing in this space and their vision for the future. but before we hear from our witnesses, some will also, by the way, play a short video, assuming the technology works, i'm not sure when we got under way that it did but before we go to theat, first up, senator nelson. >> thank you, mr. chairman. so i'm in the tesla and we're coming back across the anacostia river and getting up on the bridge, then to get on to the ramp on to 395. and i'm instructed in the driver's seat "engage the
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autonomous switch." i click it twice. "take your hands off the wheel." and so all of a sudden the car is speeding up and they say it automatically will go with the flow of the vehicles in front and back. but now we are approaching the onramp on to 395 and it is a sharp turn and the vehicles is still speeding up and they said "trust the vehicle." and as we approach the concrete wall, my instincts could not resist. [ laughter ] and i grabbed the wheel, touched the brake, and took over manual control. i said "what would have happened?" they said "if you'd left your hands off the wheel it would have made that sharp turn and
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come on around." so i'm here to tell you -- >> we're glad you're here. [ laughter [ laughter ] >> -- that i'm glad i grabbed the wheel. but we know if this is working as it apparently is then there are going to be many lives that could be saved by preventing preventable accidents because what if you suddenly look down at your cell own? and all of a sudden the car in front of you stops or the one comes over into your lane? things like efficiency and productivity could also increase considerably. urve served communities without reliability means of
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transportation could finally be integrated into the national economy. in so many state, this technology could be particularly beneficial for seniors and those with disabilities but we have to have the technology right the self-driving cars can live up to their promise. so in the federal government, we have a critical role so make sure that the regulatory environment and the league environment in which american business does business is able to develop and manufacture these vehicles and it also means that we're going to have to in our case exercise responsible oversight. and as we've seen in this committee on other subjects such as the takata air bags and the
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john mccain ignition switch recall, individual components of vehicles with defects can suddenly snowball into major problems so with an autonomous consider the stakes are all it will more going to be high, you can imagine in this world of cyber security and cyber attacks, emergency what would happen to autonomous vehicles to get hammcked while they're out the road. one small defect could end up in a massive safety crisis. and if the problem comes up, manufacturers and regulators are going to have to get together and quickly find those solutions. no more coverups, no more head in the sand approaches to safety. if we're going to avoid the tragedies, we've got to be
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johnny on the spot. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator nelson. they didn't let me get behind the wheel. >> i know! >> i suppose they figured if you can navigate a spaceship you can probably navigate a driverless vehicle. >> well, that was terrestrial challenge. [ laughter ] >> i want to ask unanimous consent to submit for the record statements from the national council on disability, the global auto makers' association and a letter from the global auto makers and the auto atliens secretary fox at the department of transportation. those will be included without objection. we have before us today a great panel, i want to welcome them here. first is dr. chris urmson, director of self-driving cars for google x. mr. mike ableson, general motors company. mr. glen devas, vice president of global engineeri ining and services at delphi automotive. mr. joseph opaku, vice president
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of government relations for lift and as i mentioned earlier dr. missy louise comings, director of humans and autonomy lab at duke robotics at duke university. welcome to all of you, thank you for participating today. we'll start on my left and your right with dr. urmson and proceed as each of you complete. and if you could at least as close as possible stay to the five minute time allotment so we have ample time for members to ask questions because i think we'll have good participation today. dr. urmson? >> thank you, chairman thune, ranking member nelson. thank you for inrighting me to testify about the potential for self-driving cars to improve the lives of people everywhere. my name is chris urmson and i've been leave leading the technology development since 2009. the video we would have shown earlier captures many of the reasons why we're excited about this technology. nhtsa estimates 38,000 people
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were killed on america's roads last year and 94% of accidents involve human error. self-driving cars can help us change that. not only could our roads be safer but self-driving cars could bring everyday destinations and new opportunities within reach of those who might otherwise be excluded by their inability to drive a car. we believe to actually realize those benefits and more you need cars that are fully self-driving. that is the car must be designed to do all the work so the oak pants are not expected to take vol of the vehicle at any time. we're testing self-driving prototype vehicles in three different states. over the last seven years we've driving over 1.4 million miles in autonomous mode, our testing using complex scenarios helps us analyze, evaluate and improve how cars perform. today congress has a huge opportunity to ensure self-driving cars can be safely deployed at scale. we currently face a growing patchwork of state/x"yr laws an regulations on self-driving cars that has to t potential to become unworkable. in the past two years, 23 states
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have introduced 53 pieces of legislation that affect autonomous vehicles. all of which include different approaches an concepts. if every state went its own way, it would be impractical to operate an autonomous vehicle across state boundaries. we're grateful to secretary fox for his vision and commitment to help in the deployment of self-driving cars. nhtsa has added clarification bus we must remember current regulations were written at a time when the idea a car could drive itself was science fiction and nhtsa indicated new authorities may be needed to deploy these technologies going forward. kopgsal action is needed to keep pace. we propose congress move swiftly to move the department of transportation with targeted authority to improve life saving safety innovations. this new authority would allow the deployment of innovative safety technologies that meet or exceed the level of safety required by existing standards while ensuring a prompt and transparent process. we look forward to working with
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this committee, dot and nhtsa to make sure we can achieve these benefits. we also believe it will help continue u.s. leadership on the technology for the years ahead. the importance of getting self-driven car technology safely into people's hands is best summed up by those who need it most. during a recent california dmv workshop to discuss the technology, regulators heard from justin hartford, a man who is legally blind. justin said "what this is really about is who gets to access transportation and commerce and who doesn't and i'm frankly tired of people with disabilities not being able to access commerce." our team at google believes self-driving cars can remove these transportation barriers from our society. thank you for your help in creating a path for this technology and for your time and conversation today. >> thank you, dr. urmson. mr. ableson? >> good afternoon.
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thank you, chairman thune, ranking member nelson and committee members for the opportunity to speak to you on autonomous vehicles and the way they believe improve the safety, convenience and effectiveness of our 21st century transportation system. my position inside general motors is vice president of portfolio planning and strategy. in that position i spend a lot of time thinking what about will happen to our industry over time and what opportunities there are and how to position general motors to take advantage of those opportunities. as you may know, general motors has very active in the autonomous space with several recent announcements. all of these are aimed at our goal of earning customers for life by redefining the nature of personal mobility and extending our relationship with our customers beyond the car. there are four principle areas to this initiative -- autonomous driving, connectivity, lech triication and ride sharing. however, all of these are built on the same bed rook principle, our top priority must be safety.
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i'd like to focus my few minutes today on awe on the my. gm has a long history with autonomous vehicle research and we're driving the lead in automated driving technologies. from our partnership with carnegie mellon university which in 2007 won the dhararpa urban challenge by covering 60 miles at an average speed of 14 miles per hour to our acquisition last week of cruise automation, gm is rapidly redefining personal mobility. many of today's active safety technologies such as full speed range adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist are steps towards autonomous driving. we're deploying these technologies across more of our portfolio and are also bringing additional safety enhancing technologies like forward collision warning to vehicles at all price points, including inexpensive models such as the chevrolet spark. gm expects to be the first auto maker to bring dedicated short-range communications, a
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vehicles-to-vehicle safety technology, to market late this year in the 2017 cadillac cts. this enables vehicles to communicate important safety and possibility information to one another. super cruise, a feature that allows hands-free and feet-free driving on the highway will also debut in the 2017 cat ladillac . init incorporates many of the mapping and radar technologies that will be crucial to increasing automation in the future. additionally, our recent investment in the ride sharing company lyft complements gm's expertise in autonomous vehicles by providing a ride-sharing platform to support platforms. our acquisition last week of cruise automation is another important milestone in our work to deploy autonomous vehicles. founded in 2013, cruise moved quickly to develop and test autonomous vehicle technology in
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san francisco's very challenging city environment. cruise's deep software talent and rapid development capability, when combined with gm's resources and expertise will further accelerate our development of autonomous vehicle technology. these efforts inside the company are being spearheaded by a recently formed vice president led engineering team focused on accelerating the deployment of autonomous vehicles. but make no mistake, our focus will be on doing this safely. we believe the next logical step toward public viability of the autonomous vehicles will be controlled ride-sharing projects such as those we are planning with lyft. these projects will allow the public to safely experience autonomous vehicles without making a significant financial investment. this could speed public acceptance of autonomous vehicles while at the same time protect public safety through the ownership and control of the vehicle fleet by the vehicle manufacturer. this style of deployment also
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encourages partnership with local and state governments which will help ensure full public benefit of the technology. in closing, gm enthusiastically supports policy initiatives to accelerate the development and adoption of safe high-level automation through real-world projects, we look forward to working with congress and nhtsa to spur development of these technologies as safely and rapidly as possible. i look forward to answering your questions. thank you. >> thank you, mr. ableson. mr. devos. >> thank you for giving me the opportunity to testimony on behalf of delphi automotive. my name is glen devos, the vice president of engineering and services at delphi. we're a high-tech company that integrates safer, greener and more connected solutions for the automotive sector. we spend more than $1.7 billion
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annually in engineering development activities and operate major manufacturing and technology centers across the united states. delphi's portfolio places us at the center of vehicle evolution and innovation, making products smarter and safer as well as more powerful and efficient. i would like to start by think thatting the committee for informed consumers into the fast act which was signed into law last year. in particular, i would like to thank the bill's sponsors, senator markey as well as chairman thune and ranking member nelson for their successful effort to get stickers enacted. with the incorporation of stakers, it would speed the adoption of active technology also known as advanced driver assistance systems through increased consumer demand. the adoption of adas systems is a critical step on the road to automated vehicles since those same systems will enable automated driving are a part of
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today's active safety systems. as noted in our video which we were, unfortunately, not able to show, last year we made a historic 15-state, 3400 mile journey from san francisco to new york city with a car that for 99% of that driving time was driven without human input. the drive took place during daylight hours and included an engineer behind the wheel with the ability to assume control if the car encountered a situation where the vehicle could not clearly naff date on its own. the vehicle performed flawlessly. it was able to make com flex decisions necessary to drive safely across the country while unlike human drivers remaining alert the entire time. one of the primary takeaways from the cross-country drive is we have technology available today in the consumer marketplace that can dramatically reduce deaths and injuries on the road. these technologies are not just
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lifesavers, but as demonstrated by that drive, the building blocks were automated cars from the future. this is true from the development as well as a consumer adaption standpoint. as a survey confirmed, it will drive consumer acceptance of vehicle autonomy. the inclusion of stickers was a major step forward in driving consumer adoption of adas. nhtsa has responded and has announced its intention to modernize the new car assessment program to require passenger vehicles to have adas systems in order to achieve a five-star rating. this is great progress and should dramatically increase the ability of active safety systems at vehicles at every price point. it is critical that we capture these safety improvements quickly. stickers requires nhtsa to promulgate the new end cap rule within a year of enactment and it is important that this time line does not slip. in an automated future, we need to be able to communicate with
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not just the driver or the owner, but also the surrounding environment. knowing when traffic signals are going to change or where vehicle traffic is heaviest, not only as to the safety of the vehicle, but allows the cars to be driven or to drive themselves more efficiently, keeping the spectrum both available and free from harmful interference is critical as v to v and the dsrc systems that make it possible to roll it out. it is also important to consider the manner in which existing vehicles can be retrofitted to accommodate dsrc requirements. there are approximately 262 million vehicles or passenger vehicles registered in the u.s. roadways with the average vehicle age of 11 1/2 years. unless retrofitting is built into the planning process, it may take decades. in addition to supporting technologies that are needed to enable automated vehicles, kick and the administration and state
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governments would need to provide the flexibility and the regulatory framework necessary to enable car development and deployment. one of the primary -- i'm sorry. >> that's the hazard of not numbering the pages. >> or the hazard of not having my reading pages. finally, as we talk about cybersecurity, delphi's keenly aware are the cyber threats associated with today's connected vehicles in taking measures that would enable a safe and secure driving experience. we are participating in the auto isac activities to improve cybersecurity threat to improve awareness across the country. delphi has technology research is focused on cybersecurity matters and we are working with the nist and as well as the oem
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community to make sure we meet their requirements and the information security protocols. >> thank you again for your time and the opportunity to testify before the committee today. >> thank you, mr. devoss. mr. opaku. >> chairman thune, ranking member nelson and members of the committee, good afternoon. my name is joseph opaku and i am the vice president of government relations for lyft. thank you for the opportunity to testify today on this very exciting and important topic. my fellow panelists represent the components required for the successful deployment of autoon mousse vehicles and you have the auto mefrers with building autonomous vehicles and you have the parts manufacturers whose products will be vital for making the cars run and you have the best engineering minds in the world and you have lyft, a company perfectly suited to bring this technology to cities and consumers all across the
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country. there are at least two other equally important components that will determine the future of autonomous vehicles. the first is the interaction of everyday people with these new vehicles and the second is the much more unpredictable interface of the government with this entirely new transportation resource. lyft has unique experience in these two areas and this is where i'll focus my testimony. lyft launched four years ago as the first digital platform that uses a smartphone to allow people to give other people a ride in their personal vehicle. lyft's goal was to encourage people to give up their own vehicles and instead use the empty seats in a neighbor's car. in ord ter to accomplish this w knew certain things needed to be addressed. first, it had to be safe. extensive checks for drivers were a must and accountability for everybody involved in the ride. innovations that include realtime consumer feedback and
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automatically emailed digital receipts with the ride route, driver name and driver picture are a key part of the reason for the rapid adoption of lyft. it's also why 30% of our drivers and the majority of riders are women. second, the service had to be efficient for drivers to participate. it is easy for a driver to apply to drive on the platform and they can initiate the process from their smartphone and difficult for them to qualify. third, for consumers, we knew that a vehicle had to arrive within minutes of pressing a button to feel like a good alternative to grabbing your own keys and driving your own car. in a few, short years these key principles have enabled a troirgz industry to evolve in a pre-existing and largely idle resources. by any measure, it is remarkable and it wouldn't have happened if it wasn't safe, affordable and convenient. this rapid evolution of the transportation industry has
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clearly demonstrated that consumers are increasingly willing to give up the steering wheel and instead have a vehicle arrive at the push of a button. one recent statistic from the university of michigan clearly underscores this shift in consumer priorities. in 1983, 46% of 16-year-olds obtained a driver's license. in 2014, that figure dropped to 24%. that's a 50% change in something that i was 100% certain that i wanted more than anything else when i was 16 years old. something very real and fundamental is shifting here. we are on the doorstep of another evolutionary lead in transportation and technology where concepts that could once only be imagined in science fiction are on the verge of becoming a reality. the partnership between lyft and general motors is based upon the knowledge that autonomous vehicles can bring enormous benefits in road safety, congestion and spending on structure just to name a view.
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this partnership is found on the shared understanding that the fastest way to bring these benefits of autonomous vehicles to consumers is via a ride-sharing network like lyft's. to be sure, there are very serious challenges to be faced in bringing the full value of autonomous vehicles to market for mass consumption and the greatest potential obstacle is constructive legislation and regulations. the worst possible scenario for the growth of autonomous vehicles is an inconsistent and conflicting patchwork of local, municipal and county laws that will hamper efforts to bring autonomous vehicle technology to market. regulations are necessary, but regulatory restraint and consistency is equally as important if we are going to allow this industry to reach its full potential. this is an area where lyft has vast experience and has learned very valuable lessons. three years ago, only one state had issued a regulatory framework for the ride-sharing industry. today, 30 states have enacted legislation for this industry with another bill currently
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sitting on a governor's desk awaiting signature. this is the experience that lyft brings to the table as we embark upon a mission on providing autonomous vehicles to the public. with the help of this body, a dedicated effort to tackle hard questions and a commitment to ensure that regulation doesn't inhibit innovation, we can succeed. we look forward to working with this committee to ensure the autonomous vehicles can arrive safely and efficiently on america's roads. i thank the committee for holding this hearing and for working toward this common goal and i'm happy to answer any questions that you might have, thank you. >> dr. cummings? >> thank you. thank you for having me back. good afternoon ranking member thune and distinguished members of the committee. thank you for the opportunity to appear before you to discuss issues about the future of self-driving cars. i'm the director of the duke robotics program and the laboratory which focuses on the

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